SIGNED By Rockets center Yao Ming, a seven-figure deal with
Miramax Books for his life story. Scheduled for a fall 2004
release, the book will tell how the values Yao learned growing up
in a middle-class family in Shanghai have guided him on and off
the court. "It will be more than a sports memoir," says Jonathan
Burnham, president of Miramax Books. "It's a cultural adventure
as well." Yao is also in the midst of a legal adventure. Last
week he filed a suit in Shanghai against Coca-Cola for a symbolic
one yuan (about 12 cents) for "spiritual and economic losses,"
after the company put his picture on its soda bottles in China.
Coke has a marketing contract for China's national team, while
Yao has an exclusive deal with Pepsi.
WOWED Dan Egan and Dan Gaz, caddies at Olympia Fields Country
Club outside Chicago, when they discovered whose bags they'd be
carrying on the morning of May 27. Told by their supervisor that
Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods were waiting for them on the 1st
tee, Egan, a University of Wisconsin junior, and Gaz, an Indiana
sophomore, thought it was a joke. Then the boss said, "You better
get going." Once they saw Tiger and MJ, Egan says, "our knees
started shaking." Gaz, who was on Woods's bag, talked sports with
Tiger--Gaz was a pitcher in high school. Egan, who grew up
idolizing Jordan, says that at first he was too nervous to look
his loop in the eye. "I didn't really know what to say, because
half the time when I'm out with a member the conversation is
'What do you do, sir?'" Egan also found it hard to offer the
usual advice: "You can't tell Michael Jordan to maintain his
focus." After the round--Jordan shot about 90, Woods a 68--Tiger
tipped Gaz $100 and gave him a ball, and Jordan gave Egan two
$100 bills. "They're sitting on my dresser," Egan says. "I don't
know what I'm going to do with them."
G-O-O-F-E-D The Washington Post, which misspelled National
Spelling Bee winner Sai R. Gunturi's name as "Guntari" twice in
its May 30 edition.
DIED Of cancer, Kenneth Rudeen, 73, longtime writer and editor at
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. After breaking in as a 17-year-old reporter
for The Kansas City Star, Rudeen joined SI in the fall of 1954,
eight weeks after the magazine's launch, and retired as executive
editor in 1991. He covered motor sports for the magazine and
wrote several books on the subject, including Men at Speed and
The Swiftest. He also produced sports books for children. "Over a
long period of time Ken shaped the literary quality of the
magazine," says former executive editor Peter Carry. Adds former
managing editor Mark Mulvoy, recalling the lifelong Kansas
Jayhawks fan, "He used to sit in his office and look out the
window--west, in the direction of Kansas."
COLOR PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: PETER GREGOIRE(YAO), MEL LEVINE (BOOK) Yao Ming